You may already know the importance of developing buyer personas when creating a marketing strategy. But without developing the appropriate buyer personas specific to your business, your marketing efforts will miss the mark.
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal manufacturing customer, and includes much more than demographic information. Personas are meant to help you develop a full understanding and 360-degree view of who your customers are and how they approach buying your products and services, from research through purchase. Buyer personas are the foundation for a solid inbound marketing strategy and are essential to developing meaningful, relevant content that will resonate with your prospects.
So where do you begin in the process of developing buyer personas for your manufacturing business?
Researching specific demographic information about your manufacturing company's buyers through surveys or interviews will help you develop insights into what your buyers are looking for. To help, here is a list of questions to consider asking your current customers. What are their biggest challenges? How do they approach researching solutions? The details you learn will help you create a realistic picture of your buyers’ needs, wants and goals to help you create a consistent message with content that will help answer their questions.
Detailed information about a customer’s or potential buyer’s job role and function is crucial for manufacturing businesses. Understanding your persona’s job level, knowledge, goals, responsibilities and experience is essential for getting to know them and creating content that will address their needs and help them do their job better. For example, is the purchasing manager the decision maker? Or is it the plant manager? Who is starting the initial research process to finding a new partner or solution? What is this person responsible for? Do they have in-depth knowledge about their industry? And remember, there are likely 2-3 different personas you could be targeting based on their roles in the decision making process.
Once you understand the facts about your target buyer persona, dig deeper into their needs, wants and goals. For example: A purchasing manager may have issues with manufacturers not being able to deliver on time, while a plant manager may have concerns about products not complying with consumer product safety rules. Getting to know their pain points and how your products and services can help them will help you create a consistent message with content that is useful and makes their lives easier.
The main goal of your business shouldn’t be focused on just selling products or services, but also solving a problem or fulfilling a need for your customer. How do you keep your costs competitive? Do you meet detailed and custom requests? How does your offer help solve a problem in your buyer’s job function? Be prepared to go through a detailed process that identifies how you can help them.
Understanding why a potential buyer may not be interested in your products or services can help you create content to address those objections. For example, plant managers may find that they can get the same product overseas for a lower cost. Will you be prepared to negotiate a price and convey why your organization is worth the increase? Knowing these objections helps you overcome them and prepare you to offer a better solution.
Buyer personas, when done right, take time, but when that step is skipped, your entire inbound marketing plan will crumble. We’ve seen it too many times. Many companies are over-eager to publish content right away, or think that creating written personas of their buyers is irrelevant. But remember that the power of good storytelling in marketing is proven to engage your audience and turn profits.
Need help creating your manufacturing buyer personas? Our guide explains how you can embark on developing buyer personas that will make a big impact on your results and develop stronger relationships with your customers.